Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

By: Richard Woodard

Resident columnist and spirits know-it-all Richard Woodard provides his monthly take on the latest in the global white spirits industry.



How can gin stem the slide in the US? - Comment 19 Apr 2016

Much as all looks rosy in the UK, the gin sector has struggled in the US in recent years. What is the segment doing wrong, in a spirits market that offers generous bounty? Richard Woodard investigates.


Is Pernod Ricard's Absolut dying in the US? - Comment 22 Mar 2016

This month, white spirits commentator Richard Woodard considers the present health - or lack thereof - of Pernod Ricard's flagship vodka brand, Absolut.


Travel Retail has plenty of runway - Comment 25 Feb 2016

While some have predicted turbulent times for the Global Travel Retail business, spirits columnist Richard Woodard sees a long and lucrative future for the sector.


The BRIC Markets - Where are they now? - Comment 14 Jan 2016

Since almost the turn of the Century, it's been all about the BRICs. Brazil, Russia, India and China have spent the last 16 years as the focus for growth for every drinks company out there. Richard Woodard takes a look at the four countries and surveys their importance in 2016.


The dangers of squaring up to your competitor - Comment 17 Nov 2015

Do you remember the Pepsi Taste Challenge? Richard Woodard does, and he sees echoes of it in Bacardi's latest activation for its Oakheart spiced rum brand.


Are we kidding ourselves over craft spirits? - Comment 1 Oct 2015

This month, Richard Woodard drills down into the perceived threat of craft spirits and finds more than just a load of small-scale brand names to worry about.


Why consumers don't care about vodka's provenance - Comment 25 Aug 2015

This month, Richard Woodard considers the marketing opportunity - or lack thereof - of provenance when it comes to marketing in the vodka segment.


Bacardi's Banks Buy: Are Big Spirits Companies Failing to Innovate? - Comment 21 Jul 2015

Earlier this month, Bacardi announced its purchase of Banks, a Mauritius-based range of rums. Why would a company whose name is synonymous with the rum category - almost transcends it - buy a rum brand? Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - What on Earth is a Liqueur? 23 Jun 2015

When you look at the way the various spirits categories are defined, you'd be forgiven for concluding that the liqueurs segment comprises 'everything else'. Evenso, argues Richard Woodard, the sector is still worth operating in, thanks in part to consumers' perceptions of liqueurs.


Comment – Spirits – Will Tequila Learn from Scotch Whisky's Mistakes? 19 May 2015

Despite the market split, the Tequila category is on the cusp of its own boomtime. But, the positioning of the mixto sector compared to 100% agave carries echoes of Scotch whisky past-tendency to hype single malts to the expense of blends. And now, Scotch volumes are suffering. Will Tequila make the same mistake? Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - Will We Understand the Language of Rum? 21 Apr 2015

Gruppo Campari's decision to change the names of several rum brands in its Appleton Estate portfolio suggests that the segment may have stumbled on its own language. Does this mark the end of rum's reliance on the terminology used by Cognac and Scotch whisky? Richard Woodard delves deeper.


Comment - Spirits - Don Julio: Diageo's Mexican Trojan Horse 12 Mar 2015

Last week, Diageo announced plans to invest US$400m on its operations in Mexico. While the headlines centred on the company's Don Julio Tequila operations, the country itself is ripe for growth. Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - Will IPO Bring Much-Needed Stability to Lucas Bols? 22 Jan 2015

Dutch spirits firm Lucas Bols has endured an occasionally turbulent time in its 450-year history. Will an effort to list on the Euronext Amsterdam through an IPO bolster the company? Here, our spirits columnist Richard Woodard examines the group's history for answers.


Comment - Spirits - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka? 21 Oct 2014

The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.


Comment - Spirits - Can Absolut's US Headache be Soothed by Elyx? 4 Sep 2014

Late last month, in Pernod Ricard's full-year results, the spirits company flagged a tough time for Absolut vodka. Richard Woodard surveys the wreckage and considers the brand's future.


Browse all 46 articles